Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Creating stories (Tribes)

Ask the group to brainstorm what they understand by a tribe and write them on a big peice of paper.
In groups of 4 or 5 ask the group to create their own tribe asking the following questions.

1. What is your name?
2. What is your symbol? (draw and colour in if necessary)
3. What is your main value in life? (put in the form of a motto)
4. What types of clothers do you wear?
5. Where do you live?
6. What is your initiation ceremony to get into the tribe?

If the group want to add other details then they can. Feed back to one another about your tribes.

Story tasks:
Get each group to create a story about how their tribe came into existance. Get the group to present it back by acting it out.
Join two groups together to make a story which involves both of their tribes. Get them to feed back by retelling it and acting it out.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Creating scenes from characters

Here ae 3 easy steps to create a drama from exploring characters

1. Create a character:  (Or you could choose an exisiting charater)
- Write 10 questions to yourself to get an initial idea of who you are? How old are you?, Where do you live? Do you have family? What ius your favoiurite colour?
- Hot seat one another to find out more about eachother and yourself. If you discover more about yourself in this exercise jot it down

2. Write a monologue - More about who you are. What you like/dislike. Tell a memory from your childhood and one from a recent event.

3. Create Scenes: Put the characters together in a scene. Choose a context for where you are ie A parents evening, outside a burning house, at a party. Think also about character traits and each characters history to make links to one another.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Apple Pie

One person stands facing the wall away from the rest of the group.

Someone is picked to say "Apple Pie" out loud in a voice different to their own.

The person standing facing the wall turns round and tries to guess who said "Apple Pie"

If they do not guess correctly then the process is repeated with someone else from the group is chosen to say the word.

This is an excellent exercise to create different voices, experimenting with voice tone and quality. It can also be used to find different characters and could be used to create a short scene. For example 3 voice types could be selected and Incorporated into a scenario. The type of voice can give clues to the persons character or even a particular scenario. A brainstorming exercise might be a good tool to explore this.

Friday, 16 July 2010

Three taster sessions to build a Youth Theatre (Green Shoes Arts)

Session 1: Aim - To give young people the experience of working together and being able to focus in drama.

Warm up games:
Presenting: Form a circle and in turn each person walks into the middle and says their name and something interesting about themselves.

Budge: Click on link here

Focus Warm up: Click on link here - With variation of giving commands Stop, Go, Jump and clap. The group must respond by first doing the commands they here then by doing the opposite i.e. Jump when they hear clap or stop when they here go. Progress by getting the group to say the opposite command before they do it.

Create a scene from an image playing Grandmothers Footsteps. Choose 3 images and illicit from the group what they see. What story? Who are the characters? The task is to create a story in pairs using these 3 images.

Create a scene representing the local area
Brainstorm on Dagenham heath (your locality) 1. Adjectives that describe it, 2. Places, 3. What can you do there.
Pick a word from each list randomly and create a scene using those 3 words i.e Windy, Swimming pool, Reading.

Session 2: Aim - To create stories through improvisation

Warm up activities: Passing a clap around the circle, Passing an imaginary ball around the circle under your feet, Throwing a tennis ball in the circle,

Create images in groups: Walk around the room and on the command's etc get into groups. When you hear an image called out in your group create that image without talking.
Progress by creating a big group image. For example a Kitchen or a hurricane.

Story telling exercise: In a circle tell a story around the circle with each person adding a sentence. One person act a s a scribe to get the main points of the story recorded on paper.

Physical story-telling: In a group narrate and physicalise the story the group has created.

The improvisation Party exercise: Everybody must act that they are at a party, talking, pretending to drink, eat food, dancing. The door bell will go and someone will enter the room acting like a particular character they have been given, i.e. Superman, an alien etc. The guests must carry on improvising and interact with the new guest. The aim is for the party guests to guess who the characters are.

In the style of... Give the group the scenario of buying something in a shop in the style of different theatrical genres. e.g. Eastender's, a cartoon, Opera, Bollywood, Melodrama, etc

Session 3: aim - Create characters using props

Warm up games: Come into the middle of the circle and say your name and what it means. You can make it up and the rest of the group have top guess if it is true or false, Budge 0 Variation - no one can say umm! or make a noise before a name of they are out.

Characteristics brainstorm: Create as many words that describe people i.e. angry, happy, devious. Put a range of hats and props in the middle of the room and a hat of random ages to pick out. Each person is given a prop and picks out of a hat a characteristic and age.

Character improvisation: Walk around the space thinking about who your character is. How do they walk, hold their body, how fast, slow, heavy or light. Stop! How do they stand? Where is the weight? Head position?

Progress by putting the character into different scenarios. Waiting for a bus, Sitting on a bus, At the cinema, buying a ticket? In a argument with the cashier etc

Big Group feed back: Share things you observed about the characters you were or observed. How did it make you feel? How was it difficult? What were you thinking?

Perform a scene in character: In three's perform a scene as your character In a context of your choice

A Star and a wish - Feedback with a star - something you liked about the scene and a wish - something you would like to see done differently.

Create a scene from a game: In three's chose a game and plan a session where you create a scene from playing the game. i.e apple pie

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Building narratives with shapes

In a big circle one person goes in to the middle and holds a shape;
Someone joins them interacting with them in a other shape and so on.
Ask the group what they see? What emotions? What is going on in the story?
Get lots of variations.

Repeat but this time give the group (or groups) 20 seconds to create what ever you call out i.e an emotion or a noun (church, Bicycle,) or the Weather- Hot, Stormy, Hurricane etc.

Repeat again and give the group an emotion to build together- Search together again for a narrative.

Follow up: This is a good exercise to go on and create images from texts, which can create scenes for a drama. Words can be given to characters, which can be built into sentences and so on.

Comment: A good exercise to use with a mixed group as it lends itself to differentiating the task. A good group can be pushed to create scenes to a story where as a less experienced group could stop at just images.


Find a partner and face one another
Move around anywhere in the room but keep eye contact with each other
when leader shouts "change" you must change partner
Experiment with levels, distance, pace etc

Comment: This requires a certain amount of trust in the group to be able to maintain eye contact but is a good way of finding out the groups closeness.
This is a good spacial awareness exercise working with a partner and being aware of those around at the same time.

Knee tag

Find a partner and face one another
The idea is to try and touch your partners knee 3 times before they touch yours 3 times.
You can increase the difficulty by making each pair put an arm behind their back.
On the command "Change" You must find a new partner to do combat with.

Comments: Great to use with a new group especially as a way to get to know one another. This is also a good spacial awareness exercise as individuals are not just to watch their partners moves but be aware of those around them.